Aeroplane meets... Brendon Deere

The nephew of a noted wartime ace took the plunge, defied the doubters and restored a Spitfire to airworthiness ‘in-house’ — and he’s now done the same with a Mustang

Brendon Deere with Spitfire PV270.
Brendon Deere with Spitfire PV270. GAVIN CONROY

“I think Kiwis very much have a ‘get in and do it’ attitude. You don’t accept a problem as a problem — you accept it as there to be solved”. There’s no doubting the truth of Brendon Deere’s statement about his fellow countrymen. In many fields, it’s been proved time and time again. Exactly that practical resourcefulness, expressed modestly but backed up by action, was in evidence when he and a small group of helpers returned a Spitfire IX to flying condition with the very minimum of external input. Never before had an example of the Supermarine fighter been put back into the air in New Zealand alone. Some naysayers felt it couldn’t be done. But after 35,000 working hours, five years and three months, it happened.

That was back i

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